Chris Cross is horrible, but it’s not a bad thing. Chris Cross is abjectly offensive, but he pulls it off. Watching Chris Cross is like watching a snake – grotesque and potentially damaging, but hypnotically fascinating.
As contortionists go, the grungy figure loping around on stage is not exactly what you’d expect. A previous performer in the same space in the Voodoo Rooms described him as ‘Jesus on smack’, and in appearance (Jesus) and manner (smack) he certainly doesn’t disappoint. He isn’t a slight, lanky figure, but a tall Russell Brand look-a-like with stature and substance. Most likely illegal substance. This boundless, seemingly drug-induced energy carries his show for a full hour of laughs, horrified gasps and outraged squirms.
When it comes down to it, all the contortioning Chris Cross does is dislocate his shoulder three times in an hour. While I won’t pretend to suggest that this is something I could do, just the simple act of out-in-out-in-out-in is hardly enough to fill an hour. What he does instead is draw out his performance with rude and witty anecdotes, teasing and downright abusing of the audience (ladies of a larger chest, I would strongly advise not sitting near the front if you don’t want to be molested as I was), and self-operated musical interludes. When he’s not twisting his quite frankly lovely body into the most horrific shapes, he is dragging willing and unwilling volunteers up to the stage to perform dubious acts that would make even a normal cabaret-goer blush.
This performance is certainly not for the squeamish or the easily offended. As a free show it should come with a health warning. You are going to get plenty more than your money’s worth, and probably leave mentally scarred. But if you are going to see a contortionist this Fringe, go and see Chris Cross, and not only because he is the only one. He is outrageous and offensive, and bloody good fun.
has written 17 reviews for Broadway Baby since joining the team in 2011.